March 8, 2017
Today is Santa Clara’s Day of Giving. Usually, I don’t pay attention to this day because I don’t have much money to donate and, even when I choose to donate, I prefer giving my money to organizations that actually work for me and the issues I care about in the world.
This year is a little different. Back in February, I decided it would be nice to fundraise for the Rainbow Resource Center since it finally has a specific fund I can put money into (Fund #: 46899G0000). The money raised stays in a fund and is rolls over into the next year’s budget!
I was excited. The nostalgic memories of my tumultuous, busy senior year flashed before my eyes and a rush of euphoria led to an attempt to donate right away. (Turns out you can’t donate online until the actual day of giving.)
But all this excitement has been overshadowed by the news of the Santa Clara administration overturning a decision made by a student-led and student-represented process.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t care if TPUSA has a chapter at Santa Clara. It does not surprise me one bit to find such an organization on campus, either openly or covertly. What surprised me was how individuals outside the undergraduate student body could—in a very authoritarian way—override a democratic process.
In an era where judges and their rulings are held in open contempt by a sitting POTUS, I expected the Santa Clara administration to be better than our 45 president. Unfortunately, for the second time in recent memory, Santa Clara’s values and mission buckled under (conservative) public commentary to a leaked video.
The first time I remember the administration choosing the Board of Trustees over their students was back in 2009 after the annual Drag Show. An alumnus recorded parts of the Drag Show, making vitriolic commentary, and posted it to YouTube where others joined in on the harassment in the comment section.
The administration responded with a new exhaustive list of paperwork for “expressive activities” or “Controversial Events” as they were once known—effectively throwing the Drag Show and other student shows like the Vagina Monologues into a closet.
As a former GASPED coordinator and one of the founders of the Rainbow Resource Center, I urge the administration to contemplate their recent actions.
Working through the red tape of “expressive activities” to put on the Drag Show and establishing the RRC showed me the double standards and internal conflict at play within the administration. However, your institutionalized fear of public opinion should not outweigh the voices of your diverse student body.
And for the record, I did donate to the Rainbow Resource Center and I hope to see the continuation of this space for decades to come.
Pearl Wong is a Santa Clara alumna from the class of 2012. Letters to the Editor can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Articles in the Opinion section represent the views of the individual authors only and not the views of The Santa Clara or Santa Clara University.